Tag Archives: online

Best of NABJDigital Blog: A Patch (.com) Of Hope…

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF digital intern Sadiyyah Rice, who writes on an innovative way Ohio University is benefitting Patch’s site consolidations.  It originally ran on Oct. 16.  Enjoy!

Hyper-local online news company Patch.com announced last month that several of its websites would be shut down or consolidated by October 15th. While those sites are undergoing these processes this week, Ohio University is looking to bring the hyper-local news structure into the educational sphere with impending web experiments.

Associate Dean for Innovation, Research/Creative Activity and Graduate Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Dr. Michelle Ferrier recently spoke with Patch editors of the closing and consolidating sites. While the editors are dismayed at losing their jobs there is a sense of hope and optimism that permeates with this group. AOL, which owns Patch, also seems to be rectifying their mistakes, Ferrier says.

“Patch editors have identified a couple of key points where AOL made certain business decisions and assumptions about the marketplace that may have been incorrect,” she says. “I think what Patch has learned is that doing hyper local online news is hard. There are costs associated with it and there are certain communities that are able to support those kinds of activities and others that are not. So they are regrouping through these layoffs to get back that core set of Patch sites that can be profitable by the end of the year.”

Of the possibility of Ohio University partnering with Patch to create new university–run hyper-local news sites, Dr. Ferrier says don’t rule it out.

“While Patch is soliciting commercial partners to be able to take on some of their sites, Ohio University and [I] are in active negotiations with them to try take on some of those low performing sites to build [a network] that is more of a non-profit, private-public partnership model that looks at building the investment of a community in its own communication vehicle,” Ferrier says.

“Our goal, “ Ferrier continued, “is to work with Patch to try and identify those communities for which a viable commercial media is impossible and then look at ways to partner with higher education entities and local government and local foundations to keep those site alive and to keep them fresh with news and information.”

Dr. Ferrier further explains that the new model will experiment with different styles of leadership which may include student-run, student-led sites or even former Patch employees teaching students community journalism through a university curriculum.

Though no tentative launch date has yet been set for this new model of online journalism, new life and hope is springing from Patch.

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and video editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

Spotlight’s On: Kelly Virella

Kelly Virella, Founder of the Urban Thinker magazine

Kelly Virella, Founder of the Urban Thinker magazine

Kelly Virella wants to bring today’s reporting into the 22nd century. Her new online magazine Urban Thinker plans to do just that. The journal will be based on in-depth, truly thought-provoking reporting on topics that are important to African-Americans but often go overlooked in media.

 

 

 

How did you start the Urban Thinker magazine?

When I first started working in a newsroom after j-school, one of the first things I noticed was how little diversity there was in terms of [news] coverage. The African-American population was only 10% in [our] area but, I started thinking about how that reflected in a lot of the news coverage on tv, even the coverage in “majority Minority” cities. A lot of “majority Minority” cities tend be very relaxed in their racially diverse news coverage. I knew then that I wanted to go into entrepreneurship and do something that was really about serving the community. As I developed more and more in journalism, I could see the tides changing in terms of what people were interested in. A lot of brands are getting into thoughtful journalism to distinguish themselves. I am creating a magazine to be a part of this moment.

How do you make long-form journalism something people will love to read in world of “quick and easy” blog posts?

It really just depends on the interest level of the individual. A lot of people swear by [long-form journalism] and some people are just not interested. One of the reasons why it is so interesting is that it’s because it’s based on characters. It’s just like you’re reading a novel, your getting into characters, you’re getting into all those elements that make it interesting for a person. It’s a form of entertainment as much as it is journalism for a reader. This is really for people who still enjoy the activity of finishing off their day with reading.

How did you go about finding reporters for the Urban Thinker?

My goal was to recruit reporters who had much experience as possible. I knew a lot experienced reporters who I was friends with. So it was really a matter of who [I knew] at the time could commit to writing something right now. So I was able to get some really cool people to write some pieces. Eventually, we will be expanding our network.

How do you plan to incorporate videojournalism into Urban Thinker?

I’m thinking about using it for front of the book or back of the book pieces. We are interested in having conversations with people who have solved various types of social or economic problems or political issues that the Black community has faced. We would give them time to talk on camera about what they did to solve these different kinds of problems.

Virella plans to uplift and inspire her readers with the intelligent journalism that we need now more than ever. Find out more about the Urban Thinker at http://www.theutmag.com/ and Kelly Virella at http://www.kellyvirella.com/.

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and video editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

A Patch (.com) Of Hope…

Hyper-local online news company Patch.com announced last month that several of its websites would be shut down or consolidated by October 15th. While those sites are undergoing these processes this week, Ohio University is looking to bring the hyper-local news structure into the educational sphere with impending web experiments.

Associate Dean for Innovation, Research/Creative Activity and Graduate Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Dr. Michelle Ferrier recently spoke with Patch editors of the closing and consolidating sites. While the editors are dismayed at losing their jobs there is a sense of hope and optimism that permeates with this group. AOL, which owns Patch, also seems to be rectifying their mistakes, Ferrier says.

“Patch editors have identified a couple of key points where AOL made certain business decisions and assumptions about the marketplace that may have been incorrect,” she says. “I think what Patch has learned is that doing hyper local online news is hard. There are costs associated with it and there are certain communities that are able to support those kinds of activities and others that are not. So they are regrouping through these layoffs to get back that core set of Patch sites that can be profitable by the end of the year.”

Of the possibility of Ohio University partnering with Patch to create new university–run hyper-local news sites, Dr. Ferrier says don’t rule it out.

“While Patch is soliciting commercial partners to be able to take on some of their sites, Ohio University and [I] are in active negotiations with them to try take on some of those low performing sites to build [a network] that is more of a non-profit, private-public partnership model that looks at building the investment of a community in its own communication vehicle,” Ferrier says.

“Our goal, “ Ferrier continued, “is to work with Patch to try and identify those communities for which a viable commercial media is impossible and then look at ways to partner with higher education entities and local government and local foundations to keep those site alive and to keep them fresh with news and information.”

Dr. Ferrier further explains that the new model will experiment with different styles of leadership which may include student-run, student-led sites or even former Patch employees teaching students community journalism through a university curriculum.

Though no tentative launch date has yet been set for this new model of online journalism, new life and hope is springing from Patch.

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and video editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

How Atlantic Media magazines, websites hire for intellect, generosity, digital dexterity

By Tracie Powell

ImageJob seekers: Want tips on how to get your foot in the door at The Atlantic Media Company? Their new online publication, which launches this fall, is hiring! This is a must read for college graduates, especially those just getting their graduate and/or doctoral degrees.

Media executives: While other news organizations struggle to survive in the digital age, The Atlantic Media Company is not only beating the odds, it’s surpassing them. Want to know their secret? 

When it comes to diversity, however…. meh. (Hint: That’s another reason to read this piece.)

Read more here.

Tracie Powell is a contributing writer to Poynter.org and a vice chairperson for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. 

Friday Fast Five + Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Before I get started with this week’s five plus five, I want to address a few housekeeping items.  First, voting is now open for this year’s National Association of Black Journalists board of directors.  Avoid the crowds at this year’s convention Aug. 3-7 and vote online now, here.

Second, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force will be holding an online forum for the NABJ candidates for VP-Print — Denise Clay and Errin Haines — on Wednesday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.  The webinar is free, but you must register, here.  Now, onto Fast Five!

  1. 10000 Words5 Creative uses of DocumentCloud
  2. NetworkedStreamlining your social media posting: How to update more than one site at a time
  3. Journalists’ Toolkit7 Do’s and Don’ts for Video on Point-and-Shoot Cameras
  4. MashableFacebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale
  5. MakeUseOf5 Cool Ways To Make Use Of National Geographic Maps
  6. SmartBlog on Social Media6 tools to measure your personal branding efforts
  7. Teaching Online JournalismTeaching about storytelling
  8. Web Design Ledger10 Blogs to Help You Become a Photography Expert
  9. David Lee King5 Tips for Editing Videos
  10. Mastering MultimediaProducing Audio Slideshows with Final Cut Pro

Group, Website Shine Light On Digital Professionals

By Jeannine Hunter, News Producer, Washington Post

Jessica Faye Carter

Jessica Faye Carter is the founder and chief executive officer of Heta Corporation, a professional services firm that advises corporations and small businesses on social technologies and cultural and gender diversity. She is a frequent speaker on these issues and the author of Double Outsiders: How Women of Color Can Succeed in Corporate America, an award-winning practical guide for professional multicultural women.

The former corporate lawyer has a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Duke University and a B.A. from Spelman College. In 2010, she established a new organization and website, Black Social Media Professionals. During an engaging conversation, Carter explained why she developed BSMP and the importance of branding, marketing and staying on top of innovations.

Jessica Faye Carter, left, speaks during a session at the Social Media Brasil 2010, the country’s largest social media conference

“The goal of Black Social Media Professionals is to provide resources for Black professionals and entrepreneurs in the social media industry, and to make social media resources and information available to non-profit and community organizations,” Carter said.

The growing site features a blog, a directory of professionals, and an area showcasing members’ sites and projects. Sections for social media resources/tools and job listings will be added soon.

She wanted to create a way to spotlight what people of African descent are doing with social technologies because there is “so much cool stuff people are working on.” She recently started to add videos to the BSMP YouTube channel, which features members offering tips and sharing their own stories about how they got started in social media.

BSMP is also a space where individuals with similar interests can learn about one another and engage online or “in real life” as they attend events such as the recent Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest, one of the world’s largest media conferences. “In the future,” said Carter, “we hope to offer informal get-togethers in the context of the larger technology conferences.”

Providing a place where prospective employers and conference organizers, etc., can diversify their pool of job candidates and speakers is a knock-off benefit of the site. “It’s important for conferences to be aware that there are Black professionals using social technologies in business, education, politics, journalism, and philanthropy,” Carter said, adding that some of them are top-flight professionals who reinvented themselves via social media tools.

Retooling one’s skills and branding are essential as careers, industries, and activities become increasingly shaped by evolving technologies and tools.

“Many people don’t realize that social technologies are changing everything from the way we do business to how we interact with our local government officials,” Carter said. “We’ve moved beyond socializing online to managing important parts of our lives with technology. That’s part of the reason that it’s really important to understand and leverage social tools and not get left behind.”

In the last decade, “the proportion of Internet users who are black or Latino has nearly doubled – from 11 percent to 21 percent,” wrote Aaron Smith, senior research specialist for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, last fall about trends in technology among people of color. “At the same time, African Americans remain somewhat less likely than whites to go online.”

“Similarly, African Americans have made up substantial ground in the last year when it comes to home broadband adoption. However, even with these gains they continue to trail whites in broadband use at home,” wrote Smith, who also noted that blacks are also less likely to own a desktop computer yet are on par in laptop ownership (as are Latinos) and more likely, as are Latinos, to use mobile devices (report here).

This fall, Carter hopes BSMP will have a volunteer day where members could help non-profits and community groups develop or refine their online identities. Members would be able to use their talents to help others demystify the Internet and get online, an especially valuable service in communities where people may be unconnected to the Internet, lack the appropriate tools to get online, or are generally unfamiliar with the benefits social media affords.

Branding is the New Journalism in 2010

By Talia Whyte, founder and director of Global Wire Associates, freelance journalist and 2009 Environmental Justice Fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism, University of Southern California

John Thompson, founder and publisher of Journalism.co.uk came up with a top ten list of what journalists need to be doing in 2010 to stay competitive in the ever-changing news media landscape.

A topic on the list that sparked my attention was what Thompson said about branding. As more journalists consider the next steps in their careers, online marketing is becoming a major component to success.

…You need to build yourself an online persona, one that earns you a reputation of trustworthiness and one that allows you to build fruitful relationships with your readers and contacts. You can no longer necessarily rely on having a good reputation by proxy of association with your employer’s brand. And your reputation is no longer fleeting, as good as your last big story – there is an entire archive of your content building online that anyone can potentially access. Obvious ways to do this: Twitter, Facebook, personal blogging, but you can also build a reputation by sharing what you are reading online using social bookmarking sites like Publish2 and delicious.

This reminds me of a quote someone emailed me about recently: “Internet users aren’t destination focused–stop trying to drive people to your site and start driving them to your content.”

This is so true! Whether it is a potential new employer or gaining a fan base, in recent years, I have found out quickly that having a strong online presence can really make or break your career today.

The days of the paper resume are numbered. Not only is it essential to have sleek but functional website for employers to find examples of my work, but I have found that it is equally important to have my content located on other digital real estate.

For the last two years, I have been building up my online persona with an inventory of content on Twitter, Facebook and my many blogs, YouTube and Vodpod accounts, and it has really helped me stand out to potential employers who would not have found me online otherwise. Maintaining accounts on professional social networks like LinkedIn and MediaBistro have also been useful.  Online branding has helped me enhance the different ways I can tell stories on topics I care about to different audiences with articles, photos and podcasts.

Most importantly, I have also connected with many great people online by sharing information with each other, which has helped enhanced both my professional work and relationships.